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Canucks' Raymond to miss Cup decider with broken vertebrae

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond will miss Game Seven of the Stanley Cup final and is expected to be out for up to four months after fracturing a vertebrae in Monday's game, the team said on Tuesday.

Raymond sustained the injury in the first minute of the contest, which the Boston Bruins won 5-2 to force a decisive seventh game on Wednesday, and Vancouver officials confirmed he faced a lengthy recovery.

"President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that forward Mason Raymond sustained a vertebrae compression fracture," the Canucks said in a statement. "He is expected to be out of the lineup for 3-4 months."

Raymond was hurt 20 seconds into the game when he got pushed backwards into the boards by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk while he was bent at the waist.

Raymond stayed down on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice and taken to a Boston hospital.

The speedy winger had two goals and six assists in 24 playoff games this year, In the regular season he recorded 15 goals and 24 assists in 70 games.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Frank Pingue)